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The Worst Thing
Aaron Elkins

Berkley Prime Crime
August 2012 / ISBN 978-0425251447

Reviewed by Cheryl Green

Bryan Bennett was perfectly happy with his job designing hostage negotiation programs. As a young child he was kidnapped and held for ransom in Istanbul for almost two months. He is claustrophobic, prone to panic attacks and does not like to discuss his programs with clients. So when his boss suggested he go to Reykjavik, Iceland to give a seminar he said no. Even though the client said it had to be Bryan or no deal.
After spending most of the night sitting on his deck, Bryan decided to make the trip to Reykjavik with his wife Lori, a marine ecologist, who is thrilled to be going. He also decides to get help from a psychologist for his panic attacks. Zeta Parkington tells Bryan, “The pills are a crutch and you need to face your fears. What is the very worst thing that can happen?” He tells her,

‘Another kidnapping.”

Things to ponder: What is Zeta Parkington researching? Is Baldur Baldursson, the kidnap victim, still alive? Would Bryan himself become the worst thing - not being able to cope in a hostage situation?

Aaron Elkins has written a riveting thriller. This is the first book I have read by this author – but I can tell you it will not be the last. This was a roller coaster of a read - I stayed up very late reading this book because I just had to know what happened next and how it ended. You will not be disappointed. So if you like your mysteries with a psychological edge – then this is the book for you.

Reviewer's Note: author of the Gideon Oliver mysteries
Reviewed 2012